Last night I had the great honor of having dinner with Chandler Parsons and some close friends. All this was made possible by Reliant Energy, the Houston Rockets, and IMG Worldwide, so a BIG time thanks goes out to them.
As you all know, I am a huge Rockets fan. I follow all the games, I live tweet (@htown747) the games on a nightly basis, and at the end of the day I just want to see the team succeed and win a championship. I was given the opportunity to be a Rockets ambassador via Reliant Energy earlier this season. It has been a wonderful experience, and the “exclamation point” happened last night over dinner.
We had the opportunity to eat at “Brenner’s on the Bayou” which many of you Houstonians are familiar with. After talking Rockets basketball, and enjoying some snacks; the Rockets starting small-forward Chandler Parsons walked through the door! Parsons has become a huge fan favorite here in Houston, and his story is truly fascinating. A second-round pick by the Rockets back in 2011; Parsons has proven to be wise beyond his years!
Parsons walked in and immediately shook our hands, thanked us for being such loyal supporters and fans. It didn’t take long to realize that this guy loves what hes doing, loves where he is in his life, and is a down to earth 25 year old living a dream. He sat down, ordered some food, and the rest of the night felt like catching up with an old friend, even though it was the first time we met Parsons in a formal setting.
Chandler didn’t hold back on any questions, and was open and honest when he answered. The main thing he emphasized was the chemistry between his teammates. He really made it clear that this team was special, and nothing felt forced. The team goes out after games and hangs out, nobody does it as an obligation, they do it because they genuinely enjoy each others company. Clearly that is translating on the court right in front of our eyes, as the Rockets have won 48 games this season, and have a bright future ahead. Parsons said this team really reminds him of a college team, the bond and unity is that strong.
Of course the question that everyone wants to ask is if Chandler will be here next year. We all know he’s a free-agent and the offers will be flowing in. The question was asked, and Chandler raised his eyebrows a bit. No worries the answer was pleasing. He said he really wants to come back. He has a great relationship with coach McHale, and he likes his situation here. When it comes to free agency it’s a waiting game. Any player will weigh his options before making a commitment. Parsons will test the market, but hopefully that test ends soon and he remains a Houston Rocket.
Chandler also talked about some of his most hated teams and players. I won’t go into major detail on that, but trust me, it’s cool to see him think the same way we do. The one team he can’t stand is the Oklahoma City Thunder, and well neither can we! He said they beat us in the playoffs, they’ve beaten us all year…. it’s self-explanatory why he can’t stand that team. He also mentioned the Westbrook and Beverley match-up certainly fuels that fire even more.
Parsons shared a bit about his personal life with us as well. How his parents are awesome, and they support him all season. They attend many of his games, and he even said sometimes his dad is a bigger star than he is. He shared a story about when the Rockets went to Taiwan and how the whole team was back on the bus, and when they looked outside his dad was being swarmed by thousands of fans! Those were the types of stories that really made the night special and unique.
Chandler also talked about the night he got drafted. He was so happy that at one point he turned to his mom and said “where am I going?” It could have been any destination at that point, but the shock and excitement took over.
One thing you quickly learn when sitting with Chandler is he’s a regular guy. He had us laughing all night, and really interacted with each of us in a respectable way.
I want to once again thank Chandler Parsons for his time, Reliant Energy, the Houston Rockets, and IMG Worldwide for coordinating such a special event for us.